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How to put up wallpaper

Whether you’re opting for a feature wall or refurbing the whole room, the right kind of wallpaper can totally transform your space. And doing it yourself is easier than you might think. All you need are the proper tools: paste, brushes (a couple will do), measuring tape, pencil, scissors and a retractable knife. The best part about DIY? You only have to make cups of tea for one.

Step 1: Find the length

First up, you’ll need to cut your wallpaper to size. There’s nothing worse than standing back to find it comes up short. Start at the top corner of your wall, measure the height, and add 1cm. It’s handy to have someone hold your tape, but don’t worry if you’re flying solo – just measure a few times to double check.

Step 2: Make the cut

Lay your wallpaper section flat on the floor, or on a pasting table. Hold down any unruly edges with something weighty, like your paste tin or a spare brush. Next, it’s time to cut your paper to the correct measurement – the one you just calculated. You can mark this with a pencil to ensure you get it right, then cut along this point with your scissors.

Step 3: Paintbrush at the ready

Brush a light layer of paste onto the wall, starting at one corner. Too little and it won’t stick, too much and it’ll be harder to control where your paper goes. We’d recommend using a handled brush for this part – your wrist will thank you later. You’ll soon get the hang of it, we promise.

Step 4: Stick to it 

Line up the edge of your paper to the edge of your wall, pressing gently onto the paste. Here’s why it’s important to start in the top corner – you’re lining it up perfectly from here on out. Continue pressing onto the wall lightly, until you reach the floor. If you venture off course, gently wiggle your paper to straighten it up.

Step 5: Sweep to secure

Using that spare brush from earlier, sweep over the paper, all the way to the floor. Any bubbles that pop up? Just re-brush to sort those out. Do this until the whole section’s flush with the wall, with no lumps or bumps. Go over any sockets here, carefully cutting an X with your scissors, and trimming to roughly meet the edges – you’ll finish these up in the next step.

Step 6: Trim and tidy

Use your retractable knife to remove any excess paper from the bottom of the wall. Here’s where you’ll neaten up around those sockets, too – it’s more precise than just using your scissors. Finish by wiping the surface with a damp, clean cloth, to get rid of any pesky paste marks. Professional standards, please.

Step 7:  Paper, paste, repeat

Repeat each step until your wall or section is fully covered. Gone for a pattern? Line your pre-pasted paper up to the section you just did. Make a pencil mark where this new section should start, then use your wall height measurement from step 1. You might have more excess at the top this time – just don’t forget that extra 1cm at the bottom. Ready? Let’s roll.

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